Thursday, June 1, 2017

Someone was paying attention

Almost immediately after my article yesterday, it looks like someone at uBeam was paying attention and actually did a proper, adult, professional PR piece and got the company onto the front page of USA Today. Much less embarrassing! :) It does also show part of my article was wrong - at least some people care!

To very quickly give a summary:

Reporters buy a phone at a local outlet to use charging (shows phone isn't tampered with, well done), put it in the brick case, and get the charge light to come on. Shows a device with an IR camera for tracking. Done with more than one phone at around 4 feet. They go on to say:

The technology is at least a year away from commercialization, and it faces significant hurdles from ever getting out the door of this 30-person start-up. Even though it can at present power a handful of phones, it's not clear what leaps need to be made to charge a busy coffee shop. And consumer questions will linger about safety as well as cost.

So at least they maintain some skepticism.

In the short time I have available this morning, and I'll update later tonight, I'll make the following comments:

In all this time, have reporters still not learned to press on the key questions? "How much power is being received?", "How much is being sent?", "What's the efficiency?", "How much does it cost?", "Have you proved it safe?", and "If this is what you have now, what were all those 'prototypes' you were talking about 2 years ago?". But those are actual questions that matter, and basically we know the same today as we did yesterday (which indicates it was an awesome PR piece, lots of coverage with no actual info).

Technically, it's still hard to say exactly what's being done, and there's not much to add beyond my earlier articles. The video does make it look like off-the-shelf Murata devices are being used and focused into a tight beam straightforward. Efficiency and safety questions are dodged.

Is this enough to convince someone to put more money in? Most likely, so let's see if someone big enough to price a round steps up or if it's smaller less sophisticated investors again.

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